Skip to content

Fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax havens

Category: Articles-General.
Posted: Friday 31 May 2013

This month in Strasbourg I voted for strong proposals to tackle tax-dodgers, calling for action to stem the estimated 1 trillion Euros (850 billion pounds) lost to public finances due to tax fraud and avoidance. While these issues have been at the top of Labour's agenda it is really important to understand that we are dealing with multinationals for whom national law can be avoided. The European Union, therefore, provides one very important area of cross-border action which is simply not available at national level.

According to HMRC figures, in the UK alone, £9billion is lost every year which could pay for the construction of more than 600 new schools or over 50 new hospitals or pay the annual salaries of over 330,000 police officers.

I, along with fellow Labour MEPs, backed a range of proposals including:

• naming and shaming those sheltering tax evaders by creating a EU wide black list of tax havens,
• companies avoiding tax not to be awarded public contracts,
• more resources to be delivered to tax authorities to tackle tax-dodgers
• an end to aggressive tax planning by companies trying to avoid paying tax.
• an obligation on companies to publish a single figure for the amount of tax paid in each EU country.

Conservative MEPs refused to back proposals to bring greater transparency to multinationals' tax affairs by requiring them to publish a single figure for the tax they pay in each country. This would help to shed light on the practice of companies using their international operations to avoid paying their fair share of tax such as the recent high profile cases involving Google, Amazon and Starbucks.

It is clear that there are cross-border solutions that can be used to tackle companies that don't want to pay their fair share. Here's an issue on which international cooperation is essential, but with Cameron under pressure from his backbenchers, can he deliver?

As for UKIP, Nigel Farage could have backed proposals to crack down on tax evaders and avoiders - but his colleagues voted against the proposals and he left before the end of the

To read my full May Newsletter, please click here.

Posted by: Admin on Friday 31 May 2013

Return to previous page